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BIGBANG Make Emotional Return With ‘Still Life’

The rock ballad marks the legendary K-pop group’s first comeback in four years

Riddhi Chakraborty Apr 04, 2022

It’s been a tough four years with no new music from the legendary South Korean group BIGBANG, but today the drought finally ends. The veteran pop stars returned with their brand new single titled, “Still Life” (which literally translates to “Spring Summer Fall Winter” in Korean) and a dreamy music video to accompany the release. BIGBANG announced the comeback in February and have been teasing the single with individual Polaroid images of the four members: G-Dragon, T.O.P, Taeyang and Daesung.

The track is a slow and emotional retro rock ballad, outlining BIGBANG’s journey thus far with their fans. With detailed guitar riffs, piano and steady percussion, “Still Life” digs into Seventies and Eighties rock to deliver a heavy dose of comfort and nostalgia. The lyrics use the metaphor of seasons to describe the group’s path, the struggles of understanding what it truly means to be an adult, and all the challenges they’ve faced in the past few years. T.O.P’s verse is especially striking, considering we now know he has parted ways from the group’s label YG Entertainment after 16 long years. He raps, “Boy looking over at the sky/ Doing well throughout the four seasons, goodbye/ Those who left and those who came/ The world above our head/ I’m leaving inspiration’s amazon/ Burying all the trauma from past nights/ A round-trip ship running, risking its life to start anew.”

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The music video is hazy and colorful, with each member of the group representing a different season; spring, summer, autumn and winter. BIGBANG also included references to past releases like “Last Dance,” “Flower Road” and even leader G-Dragon’s solo 2017 EP Kwon Jiyong. Although at one point four chairs are placed together in a single frame, the members do not actually come together in the music video and stay at their respective individual sets.

BIGBANG’s last release was the 2018 single “Flower Road”–a gift to their fandom before the group’s mandatory military enlistments. Since then, they have seen the departure of former member Seungri, and while there were many speculations about the remaining members’ future activities, we hadn’t heard anything solid (Covid-cancelled 2020 Coachella performance aside.) While we still don’t know if we’ll see a full album anytime soon, “Still Life” is an assurance that BIGBANG’s story is not over. Yes it’s melancholic, but somehow also uplifting–a fitting ode to the group’s unwavering resilience.

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